00157

"Tower Car"
Car 00157 in action on the Pacific Electric, preparing the Glendale Line for the arrival of the new PCC type cars, 1940. Richardson / Atwater District. Ray Younghans photo. ERHA-SC / Ray Younghans Collection, OERM Library.
Car Specs
Car Number: 
00157
Type: 
Tower Car
Builder: 
PE
Built / Retired: 
1915 - 1957
Construction: 
Wood
Length: 
42 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 
82,000 lbs.
Notes: 
operational

In its heyday, Pacific Electric had over 1,000 miles of track and overhead trolley wire. Special “work cars” (like this one), which did not carry passengers, helped maintain the sprawling system. 

This car was used to work on the “line”, or overhead trolley wire; the apparatus on the roof is a movable platform, from which workers had easy access to the wire. This platform, or “tower”, can be raised up and down, and also rotates to allow positioning it as close to the work as possible. Because the car has a wooden body, line workers are insulated from ground contact, permitting them to handle the trolley wire even when it is energized.

The P.E. built car 00157 in its own shops. It was designed to operate from either 600-volt, or 1200-volt, d.c. power. It was assigned to service P.E.’s 1200-volt San Bernardino line, and was based in Pomona until 1951. It was retired in 1957 and sold to the Museum. It’s had a very active “retirement”, being used regularly for construction and maintenance of overhead trolley wire on the Museum’s railway lines.    

Additional Images

00157 in action on the Museum Railway, John Smatlak photo
00157 in action on the Museum Railway, John Smatlak photo
00157 in action on the Museum Railway, John Smatlak photo
00157 in action on the Museum Railway, John Smatlak photo
Color view of the car in service on the legendary Southern District "Four Tracks
Color view of the car in service on the legendary Southern District "Four Tracks", 7/17/56. Robert B. Petersen photo, OERM Collection
On McFarland Ave. in Wilmington. Railroad tracks are still present in the street
On McFarland Ave. in Wilmington. Railroad tracks are still present in the street as of 2009. Al Styffe photo, OERM Collection
San Gabriel, 1941. Harold Stewart photo, OERM Collection.
San Gabriel, 1941. Harold Stewart photo, OERM Collection.
00157 in action on the Museum Railway, John Smatlak photo
00157 in action on the Museum Railway, John Smatlak photo

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